CHICAGO -- We never need look very far into the past to see how frequently history repeats itself.
In the news are headlines about xenophobic political statements made to curry favor with the far right -- suggestions to end birthright citizenship, baseless accusations about immigrant populations incubating crime and violence, and dehumanizing ...Read more
CHICAGO -- Former President Jimmy Carter got me to schedule a doctor's appointment and buy sunscreen.
When I heard that Carter has four spots of melanoma on his brain, I felt a bit of a gut punch. Melanoma? What is skin cancer doing on the president's brain?
I thought I knew a good bit about melanoma. But even I didn't know that ...Read more
CHICAGO -- A recent poll seems to imply that the general public does not understand, and maybe has never heard of, the school-to-prison pipeline.
It is a national trend in which children -- more often than not, minorities -- are caught up by "zero-tolerance" public school policies that criminalize minor infractions of school rules.
In the past...Read more
CHICAGO -- Dear dads: It's your time to shine.
Everyone knows that kids do better academically when "parents" participate in school activities such as helping with homework and teacher conferences. But all too often, moms are designated the school-stuff managers, leaving out a precious piece of the puzzle for ensuring that kids understand how ...Read more
CHICAGO -- Don Winslow's epic new novel, "The Cartel," about Mexican drug lord Adan Barrera's desperate moves to stay on top of a quickly changing political and competitive landscape, couldn't have been released at a better time.
The book, which begins with a Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-esque prison break, came out mere weeks before the real ...Read more
CHICAGO -- Last week, a federal judge ruled that one of the four licensing exams that aspiring teachers in New York state must pass does not discriminate against minorities.
Judge Kimba M. Wood ruled that the state and the testing company that helped devise the exam, Pearson, had properly ensured that the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST) "...Read more
CHICAGO -- In recent months, several U.S.-based manufacturers have announced that they're moving factory operations to Mexico. These moves are yet another blow to an already hobbled working class.
Goodyear, the Akron, Ohio-based tire manufacturer, broke ground on a $550 million, 1 million-plus-square-foot plant in Mexico in late July.
A few ...Read more
CHICAGO -- Last week a Comedy Central skit called "TeachingCenter" about the career moves of star educators in the fictional 2015 "Teacher Draft" went viral.
In it, two SportsCenter-like anchors lavished adoring attention on a system offering multimillion-dollar salaries for high-performing teachers, astronomical cash incentives for high test ...Read more
Her Turning Point:: Her Divine, Glorious, Happy Divorce!Nelly Cotto
"Raw, eye-opening moments...that make you think--I got attached...in a way I didn't expect and then felt her triumph..." M.T. “There are very few books...that can touch the heart. You can feel Isabel's pain...But the joy she experiences...can be the reader’s joy as well.” G.M. Divorce ...
CHICAGO -- If you use books to go somewhere you know practically nothing about, and meet someone you might not ordinarily get a chance to know, here are three that will transport you to interesting places you may (or may not) want to visit in real life.
"Townie: A Memoir" is written by Andre Dubus III, who has garnered critical acclaim for his ...Read more
CHICAGO -- People tend to say they want straight-talking politicians -- then get upset when straight talk actually occurs.
Take the case of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who has been tap-dancing across the world's stage this summer trying to hold the eurozone together in the face of a massive Greek default, while also dealing with the issue ...Read more
CHICAGO -- Happy midsummer! You have officially entered prime weight-gain season.
The back half of the calendar always means that the Fourth of July food extravaganzas have erased the memory of January's bikini-bod dreams. From here on, it's backyard barbecues and food festivals until we hit the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas gluttony ...Read more
CHICAGO -- Shame on me for falling into the trap of blindly agreeing with an Internet meme.
Stand-up comedian Amy Schumer has been hot in the public spotlight. The "it" girl has a hit Comedy Central show "Inside Amy Schumer," a recently announced comedy tour with comedian Aziz Ansari and an upcoming Judd Apatow-directed movie, "Trainwreck."
CHICAGO -- If, among a certain subgroup of white Americans, there is an inherent fear of the Latin-ization of the United States, is there a parallel unease among some Hispanics? If not quite a fear, per se, then perhaps an aversion to becoming white?
In a recent New York Times story about the spread of white supremacist websites, there ...Read more
CHICAGO -- It's summer, the perfect time for apocalyptic anxiety.
The season's hottest films so far -- "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Jurassic World," "San Andreas," "Terminator Genisys" -- have centered on drought after civilization's collapse, genetic engineering run amok, the mother of all earthquakes and cyberterrorism enabling the end of life as ...Read more
CHICAGO -- New research has confirmed that our national conversation about immigration is so tainted by bad feelings and misinformation that it's nearly impossible to actually converse.
Most of those who have been entrenched in the immigration issue for years know that when you say the word "immigration," the person you're talking to is likely ...Read more
CHICAGO -- You don't have to be Hispanic to remember a childhood run by a parent who wielded an iron fist. But if you are Hispanic, you're more likely to -- and might still have some emotional scars.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, Mexican-American and Dominican-American kids ages 4 to 6 were ...Read more
CHICAGO -- We should have left the historical figures on our money alone. Let Alexander Hamilton and the other Founding Fathers on our currency rest in peace.
One need not be pro-man or anti-woman to believe that diminishing the men on our paper bills in order to elevate a female, by 2020, as recently decreed by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, is ...Read more
EL PASO, Texas -- I recently spent four days in "Latino-landia."
I've visited heavily Hispanic communities in Florida, California and Arizona, but nothing like what I experienced on a reporting trip arranged by the Aspen Institute's Latinos and Society Program.
In El Paso, Texas, and southern New Mexico, which along with Ciudad ...Read more
MESILLA, New Mexico -- You're forgiven if you've never heard the term "North American Borderplex." It's a relatively new thing.
Borderplex is the term that civic, business and social leaders, who in 2013 organized themselves under an organization called The Borderplex Alliance, call the region that covers Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, El Paso and ...Read more
CHICAGO -- In mid-April, I wrote about official allegations that American soldiers and contractors based in Colombia had sexually assaulted dozens of young girls between 2003 and 2007, with some of the attacks being taped and sold as pornography.
Those allegations have been debunked.
The shocking charges had been included in an 800-page report...Read more